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Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Cruise Line Ship Back in Florida After Extensive Dry Dock

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Carnival Paradise has emerged from her extensive dry dock, and returns to service today from Port Tampa Bay.

The ship departs this afternoon on a 5-day cruise to Cozumel and Grand Cayman – part of her year-round sailings from Tampa that also includes 4-day cruises to Cozumel and 5-day cruises to Cozumel and Roatan, Key West, or Grand Cayman. Carnival Paradise also offers 4 to 8-day cruises to Cuba featuring day-long and overnight calls in Havana, as well as visits to other popular Caribbean ports.

Food & Drink Offerings

Carnival Paradise

Photo via Carnival.

During the dry dock, some of Carnival’s most popular dining spots and bars were added to Carnival Paradise. 

  • Guy’s Burger Joint – a complimentary poolside venue created with Food Network personality Guy Fieri, serving up hand-crafted burgers and fresh-cut fries amidst décor that celebrates his California roots and love of car culture.
  • RedFrog Rum Bar – a poolside watering hole offering Caribbean rum-based frozen drinks and beers, including Carnival’s own private label draught brew, ThirstyFrog Red.
  • BlueIguana Cantina – a complimentary poolside Mexican eatery with freshly-made burritos and tacos on homemade tortillas, as well as an elaborate toppings and salsa bar.
  • BlueIguana Tequila Bar – a fun and festive outdoor bar with a laid-back, Mexican-themed atmosphere serving tequila-based frozen drinks and beers.

Stateroom Enhancements

38 staterooms have been added to the ship, including two Grand Vista suites with floor-to-ceiling windows, 22 junior suites, two scenic oceanview cabins, and 12 interior rooms. Private verandas have also been added to 98 existing cabins, creating spacious new 230-square-foot balcony staterooms. All cabins offer new island-inspired interiors with bright colors and pastels inspired by the ship’s tropical itineraries.

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Other Additions & Improvements

Carnival Paradise

Photo via Carnival.

  • WaterWorks Aqua Park – Located on the Verandah Deck, this waterpark for all ages features an enclosed 300-foot-long Twister waterslide, two 82-foot-long racing slides, and a kid’s splash zone.
  • Mini Golf Course – A nine-hole miniature golf course has been relocated to Deck 14, providing a classic, relaxing pastime for families to enjoy in the fresh air.
  • Camp Ocean – A colorful marine-inspired play area designed for kids ages 2-11 that showcases the wonders of the sea through engaging interiors and over 200 ocean-themed activities and science-oriented programming.
  • Circle “C” – Designed for the 12-14 year-old set, this colorful space offers the perfect place for tweens and young teens to hang out and enjoy dance parties, video games, and more.
  • Retail and Photo: The retail shops have been completely reimagined with a new design and new product offerings, including Pandora and Guess. The printed photo gallery has been replaced with a digital Pixels-branded platform that allows guests to identify and purchase images via their smartphones or at a kiosk.

In addition to Carnival Paradise‘s short cruise program, Carnival Cruise Line’s Tampa-based offerings include Carnival Miracle‘s year-round 6 and 7-day cruises to the western Caribbean, and 8-day voyages that include a partial transit of the Panama Canal.

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Carnival Cruise Line Reverses Unpopular Pricing Decision

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Yesterday, we reported that Carnival Cruise Line had boosted the price of their new Pixel photo packages… a decision which proved wildly unpopular. And in response to their loyal passengers complaining, Carnival has reversed the decision! There is, however, a modification being made to the program.

The New/Old Prices

“Effective today,” wrote Brand Ambassador John heald on his popular Facebook page, “Pixels pre-cruise photo packages are returning to their introductory pricing. To balance the strong popularity of the most premium package with the onboard photo center resources, there will be a cap on the number of copies guests can order of their unlimited photos to a maximum of 50 prints or 50 digital files. The other two packages remain the same.”

He added that another change would be made by popular request. “We are now making these packages available to guests onboard on embarkation day only at special rates.” Those who pre-purchased the package at the higher rate will be given an onboard credit for the difference in price. “We will also honor the original Pixels Plus Digital package for those who purchased it before today,” he added.

 

Pixels Digital Photo Gallery onboard Carnival Horizon

“We appreciate our guests’ feedback,” he concluded, “and are happy that we can provide the great opportunity to preserve their cruise memories with photo packages that meet their needs. So there you go!”

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Although the website had not yet been updated to reflect the change when Heald made the announcement, the original pricing on the packages was as follows, with the onboard-purchase price he mentioned listed as well.

  • Pixels: This package offers prints of 5 of your best photographs, plus 1 16” by 20” canvas portrait at a cost of $99.99. (The embarkation day price will be $119.98.)
  • Pixels Plus: With this package, you can choose as many of your favorites as you like and have them printed at a cost of $199.99. (The embarkation day price will be $239.98.)
  • Pixels Plus Digital: This option offers you all of the prints of your favorite photographs, plus a souvenir USB stick containing high-resolution digital versions of the pictures, and runs $249.99. (The embarkation-day price will be $299.98.)

Those picking the Pixels option have until the final sea day of their voyage to pick the five prints they want to have made. Passengers who purchase a package will receive a Pixels gift ticket, which will be left in their stateroom. That ticket can then be taken to the photo gallery for redemption (which must be done within two days of boarding).

 

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Carnival Raises Photo Package Prices

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Well, that sure didn’t take long! Only a few short weeks ago, Carnival Cruise Line introduced three different photo packages designed to make it easier and more economical for passengers to purchase the pics they have snapped around the ship. And this week, the cost of two of the three packages went up significantly!

How Much You’ll Pay Now

Pixels Digital Photo Gallery onboard Carnival Horizon

As was the case previously, there are three different packages for cruisers to choose from, all of which offer significant savings over buying individual photos while on board. It’s also important to note that these packages are only available for purchase pre-cruise in the Fun Shops on Carnival’s web page. Info on the three packages is listed below, along with the original price and what the package will currently cost. The packages break down as follows:

  • Pixels: This package offers prints of 5 of your best photographs, plus 1 16” by 20” canvas portrait at a cost of $99.99. The price on this package has not changed.
  • Pixels Plus: With this package, you can choose as many of your favorites as you like and have them printed at a cost of $249.99. Previously, this package cost $199.99.
  • Pixels Plus Digital: This option offers you all of the prints of your favorite photographs, plus a souvenir USB stick containing high-resolution digital versions of the pictures, and runs $399.99. Previously, this package cost $249.99.

Although all three packages must be purchased in advance in order to take advantage of the discount, those picking the Pixels option have until the final sea day of their voyage to pick the five prints they want to have made. Passengers who purchase a package will receive a Pixels gift ticket, which will be left in their stateroom. That ticket can then be taken to the photo gallery for redemption (which must be done within two days of boarding).

Most, But Not All, Photographs Are Included

There are, of course, exceptions and restrictions, although generally speaking, the packages do include all of the candid and posed shots taken by the ship’s photographers. But photos of people not staying in your stateroom aren’t included, nor are photos of large groups (such as those that might be taken for weddings or other special events) or generic ship images. If your group does a private photo shoot (or wants additional prints), those come at an extra charge. And it’s important to note that once you’ve disembarked, the photos will no longer be available! For full details on the packages, head to the Fun Shops at carnival.com.

Will you purchase a photo package for your next Carnival cruise? Does the price increase impact your decision whether or not to buy one of the packages? 

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The Cutback Carnival Guests May Approve Of

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Usually, whenever a cruise line announces that they are cutting back on something, people complain. But this week, Carnival Cruise Line announced a change that we suspect most cruisers will not only approve of but cheer. In the continuing effort to reduce their environmental impact upon the sea which their passengers love sailing on, Carnival is making a major change to cut back on the amount of single-use plastic being distributed onboard their ships.

“Please Support Our Efforts”

In a posting to his popular Facebook page, Carnival’s Brand Ambassador, John Heald, not only revealed that Carnival Cruise Line would stop automatically offering plastic straws with drinks, but explained the reasoning why in a heartfelt posting. “Let’s be honest,” it began, “and shout out loud that the pollution of the earth and seas we sail and the use of disposable plastic is shameful. It is, however, reversible.

“Plastic waste dumped on land and in rivers is finding its ways into the world’s oceans so fast and in such quantities,” he wrote, “that by one estimate I read today there will be more waste than fish in the sea, by weight, by the middle of the century.

“Did you know,” he continued, “that if you lined up the 500 million straws used and discarded each day just in the U.S. alone, you would be able to wrap them around the globe 2.5 times! Incredible, isn’t it? And I ask this. Why does anyone over the age of 3 (or in physical need of one) actually need a straw to drink with? So this is what Carnival Cruise Line is proudly going to do. We will no longer automatically serve any soda or cocktail (except frozen) with a plastic straw.”

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Guests Can Still Get Straws If They Ask

This does not mean that passengers who enjoy sipping through a straw won’t be able to get one, he was quick to point out, but simply that it wouldn’t be automatically given. “They will be provided by request,” he said. “If you want one, please ask. Please support our efforts to limit the amount of plastic that can be found in the seas today.”

Heald ended the post with a heartfelt plea. “I hope I can count on all of you reading this to support Carnival,” he wrote. “We will be doing more over time to limit the use of single-use plastic products onboard our ships.” He then asked people to show their support for Carnival and this decision by sharing the post with “at least one person.”

An Industry-Wide Change

Photo: Royal Caribbean

Carnival’s move comes as the entire cruise industry is making moves to decrease its environmental impact. Earlier this year, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line CEO Michael Bayley announced that the line had a “newly-formed plastics team within the corporation.” He added, “We manage our waste very well, but we have an exciting opportunity to play our part in the overall reduction of plastic which, it’s becoming clear for all to see, has such a negative impact on our oceans.”

Bayley indicated that Royal Caribbean was looking to not only eliminate wherever possible single-use plastic items, but also to “reduce the amount of plastic in the [operations side of] the business — chairs, bags, staff belts and shoes, for example. [We also] want to influence our supply chain, because we have to do this together.”

Do you support the cruise lines in their effort to reduce plastics? Would not being automatically given a straw be an issue for you when cruising? 

Lead photo courtesy of Carnival.

 

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